Among the most interesting old fabrics we’ve seen in quite a while are two that we’re currently offering on eBay. One is this early native American print, showing chiefs in front of a tepee with basket and ceremonial pipe. Most of the 19th century fabric we’ve dealt with has been quilt or dress fabric, with some exceptions in the home décor field. But I’m not sure where this one fits in.
Only 24 inches selvedge width, and printed in rich browns, blues and red, it appears to me to be c. 1880. I have not seen another example of this fabric anywhere.
The eBay listing for this fabric is here.
Our second, also very unusual fabric is this purple on white linen toile print, featuring the two sides of Ben Franklin’s medal celebrating American liberty, and the assistance of the French in the revolution. There is a toile pictured in Pierre Frey’s blog, dating from the late 18th century, that contains the same elements, but with scenes interspersed. Our fabric, while considerably more spare, contains most of the same structural elements without the scenes. Again we find no mention nor record of the existence of this particular fabric in our research.
The listing for the toile can be found here.
It all goes to show that when you look at, handle and deal with enough fabric and keep your eyes open, you can find some pretty amazing if not spectacular things.